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Choosing a Deployment Strategy

Updated: September 16, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Microsoft® recommends a few targeted strategies for deploying the Windows® 7 operating system. These strategies range from manually configuring the Windows 7 software on a few computers to using automation tools and technologies to deploy the software to thousands of computers.

Following are details about four recommended deployment strategies. After you choose a strategy, you can read the detailed information about it later in this document.

  • High-Touch with Retail Media. A hands-on, manual deployment, where you installing the Windows operating system on each client computer by using the retail installation DVD, and you manually configure each computer. This strategy can save your organization time and money by helping you automate portions the installation process. We recommend this strategy if your organization does not have dedicated information technology (IT) staff, and it has a small, unmanaged network with fewer than 100 client computers.

  • High Touch with Standard Image. This strategy is similar to the High Touch with Retail Media strategy, but it uses an operating system image that includes your customizations and application configurations. We recommend this strategy if your organization has at least one IT pro (with or without prior deployment experience) on staff, and a small or distributed network with 100–200 client computers.

  • Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment. This strategy requires limited interaction during deployment. Interaction occurs at the beginning of the installation, but the remainder of the process is automated. We recommend this strategy if your organization has a dedicated IT staff, and it has a managed network with 200–500 client computers. Prior deployment experience is not required, but it is beneficial for using this strategy.

  • Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment. This strategy requires no interaction during deployment. The process is fully automated through Configuration Manager 2007 R2. We recommend this strategy if your IT organization has experts in deployment, networking, and Configuration Manager 2007 R2 products, and it has a managed network with 500 or more client computers.

noteNote
For a complete view of Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, please visit the Springboard Series for Windows 7 on the Windows Client TechCenter.

For a downloadable version of this document, see Choosing a Deployment Strategy in the Microsoft Download Center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=153884).

The strategy table below shows guidelines for choosing a strategy based on many factors, including the skill level of your organization’s IT staff members, your organization’s license agreement, the number of client computers, and your infrastructure.

To use the strategy table, choose the column that best matches your organization’s network scenario. In cases where you identify with multiple columns, start with the leftmost column. As you move to the right on the chart, the solutions require more skills and investment to implement, and they provide for quicker, more thorough and more automated deployments.

As you plan to deploy more computers, consider improving your scenario to enable you to move right in the strategy table. For example, if the only criterion preventing you from performing a Lite-Touch, high-volume deployment is that you are using retail media, consider purchasing a volume license. Click the link in the heading of the chosen column to read more about implementing that particular strategy.

 

  High-Touch with Retail Media High Touch with Standard Image Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment

IT skill level

IT generalist

IT pro with optional deployment experience

IT pro with deployment experience recommended

IT pro with deployment and Configuration Manager 2007 R2 expertise

Windows license agreement

Retail

Retail or Software Assurance

Software Assurance

Enterprise Agreement

Number of client computers

<100

100–200

200–500

>500

Infrastructure

  • Distributed locations

  • Small, unmanaged networks

  • Manual client computer configuration

  • Distributed locations

  • Small networks

  • Standardized configurations, including applications

  • Managed networks

  • At least one office with more than 25 users

  • Windows Server® products

  • Configuration Manager 2007 R2 (optional)

  • Managed network

  • At least one office with over 25 users

  • Windows Server products

  • Configuration Manager 2007 R2

Application support

Manually installed commercial applications

Manually installed commercial or line-of-business (LOB) applications

Automatically installed commercial or LOB applications

Automatically installed commercial or LOB applications

User interaction

Manual, hands-on deployment

Manual, hands-on deployment

Limited interaction at the beginning of installation

Fully automated deployment

Lower cost and effort by…

…automating client computer configuration

…creating standardized images

…providing network-based deployment to support large-scale deployment with limited interaction

…providing network-based deployment to support large scale-deployment with no interaction

Helping to…

…create reproducible and faster client computer installation

…reduce configuration testing and deployment time

…leverage standardized images with network access by using pull automation

…leverage standardized images with network access by using push automation

Strategy description

High-Touch with Retail Media

High Touch with Standard Image

Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment

Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment

Windows 7 Tools

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